Scam Artist Spoofing Urbana Police Department Phone Number
Over the past week, the Urbana Police Department has taken at least five calls from citizens from both inside and outside Champaign County explaining that they had received a call from someone claiming to be from the Urbana Police Department. Part of the scam is that the phone number from the Urbana Police Department is being spoofed; it appears on caller ID as originating from the Urbana Police Department when it is not. The scam artist claimed that they had received “three federal complaints” regarding the person being called and that they were transferring them to a “supervisor.”
Fortunately, none of the people that have reported these incidents to the Urbana Police Department have fallen prey to this scam and disconnected the telephone call prior to speaking with the “supervisor.” Based on the information that the Urbana Police Department has received thus far, this appears to a derivative of the IRS scam where the caller will tell a person that they have an arrest warrant and that they warrant can be quashed through a payment, often through iTunes gift cards. Visit this IRS website regarding these scams.
The Urbana Police Department has not and will not call people, inform them of an arrest warrant or “complaint”, and request any kind of financial payment.
Urbana Police Detectives are consulting with federal law enforcement agencies on the matter. Attempts will be made to determine the source of the offending callers. If you believe that you have fallen prey to any scam such as this, you are encouraged to contact your local police department and report the matter to the Federal Trade Commission FTC Complaint Assistant at this link.
The investigation on the incident is ongoing. Anyone with further information is encouraged to call the Urbana Police Department at 217-384-2320. Callers may remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS, submit a tip on the Champaign County Crime Stoppers website, or submit a tip on the free P3 Tips app which if available in iTunes and Google Play app stores.